Babies behind bars: the mother and child unit at Joburg Prison

In South Africa, babies can stay with their incarcerated mothers until the age of two. (Photo: sythe.org)

In South Africa, babies can stay with their incarcerated mothers until the age of two. (Photo: sythe.org)

Today’s edition of the New Age takes us inside the mother and child unit at the Johannesburg Prison, which is also known as “Sun City”. The Department of Correctional Services opened the unit in 2010.

We learn that children can stay with their mothers in prison until the age of two, after which mother and child will be separated. Journalist Omphemetse Molopyane describes the facilities, which include a small playground and playrooms, and interviews three women about parenting in prison.

Related resources:

Read “Babies behind bars” by Ilham Rahoot to find out more about the facilities in Sun City’s mother and child unit and what happens to the babies after they are separated from their mothers.

Go into the mother and child unit with CNN’s Robyn Curnow (video).

Visit the Baby Dorm in a maximum security prison in Indiana, USA. Watch Part 1 and Part 2.

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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